In the wealth of speculation and analysis over the future of the global packaged foods industry, it’s difficult to know what to watch out for and whether growth will skyrocket or slump.
In any case, the constant evolution of technology and consumer habits is spurring major manufacturers to action in a few key areas.
Sustainability and health
Companies like Mars are leading the way in sustainable partnerships to eradicate global carbon emissions. Kellogg’s has outlined a global commitment to responsible sourcing and conservation and has appealed to lawmakers for policies that respond to climate change.
In tandem with national and global initiatives, Kellogg’s and Nestle have committed to including more healthful ingredients in their products.
Nestle plans to ramp up online sales in China to make up for their slow response to Western e-commerce growth and healthy eating trends. The Chinese adopt technology quickly, and Nestle’s African and Asian business leaders predict a digital surge in China that will surpass the U.S. and Europe combined by 2018.
Kraft-Heinz is adopting an approach to cross-promotion and product development that targets changing consumer demands while maintaining loyalty to long-trusted brands. Consumers may not be looking for a food revolution–they simply want healthier and more specialized versions of old standbys. Since February, Kraft-Heinz has rolled out an organic line of Capri Sun fruit drinks and removed all artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives from its iconic Kraft Mac & Cheese dinners.
Overall, strategies for growth seem to be reaching toward sustainability, technology, and specialization while maintaining brand recognition and loyalty.